There’s one thing many lenders focus on at this time of year, and it’s the final rankings for our just completed year. If you’re looking for the definitive list of top lenders for 2010, then page 3 of our Wholesale Leaders report is the place to go.
- Wells Fargo is still the top overall lender and top retail lender, with a combined market share of 24% including both retail and wholesale channels
- Metlife is the top wholesale lender, with 20.9% of all wholesale volume
- 1st AAA Reverse Mortgage is the top broker, averaging almost 100 loans per month
Congratulations to all three companies that led the way in a tough year for the industry.
The report this month reminds me of a funny question someone once asked me. If you have one foot in the freezer and one foot in the oven, would your head feel average?
As lame as the joke might be, it highlights the fact that averages can mask a lot of variation under the surface. That is certainly the case in December, as we see that a flat volume month for the industry hid continued growth for Retail (+8.5%) and a big decline for brokers/wholesale (-13.3%).
The most commonly cited reason in our conversations with clients is that new regulations are making it harder to compete as a broker without closing your own loans. If that’s what is behind the recent shift toward retail volume from broker/wholesale, it suggests that many brokers are either aligning with larger firms or joining forces with others in the same position to close their own loans.
Either way, we’d expect to see the number of active lenders continue to decline (or at least grow very slowly) even as volume increases, leading to a higher average loans per lender metric. And while we’ll be the first to agree that this average doesn’t tell an individual company’s story, it does tell us a lot about the general state of the industry.
Click the image below to access the full report: